Oyster Festival returns to Okanagan

Oliver/Osoyoos Oyster Festival starts Wednesday and concludes with Art of the Oyster on Saturday

Crowds sample some of the offerings at last year’s Art of the Oyster hosted by Walnut Beach Resort.

Crowds sample some of the offerings at last year’s Art of the Oyster hosted by Walnut Beach Resort.

It’s time to get shucking. After last year’s huge success, the second annual Oliver/Osoyoos Oyster Festival will be held this week with a rip-roaring, five-day schedule.

Oyster farmers from the coast are heading inland again, bringing with them their beautiful bivalves to enjoy straight from the sea.  Our local seafood specialists, Jon and Anne Marie Crofts, both expert shuckers from Kelowna’s Codfathers Seafood Market, are again onboard supplying a variety of oysters from Canada’s coastal regions.

Oystermania will be happening all over Oliver and Osoyoos with restaurants and resorts featuring oyster dishes, different events and special dinners.  Event organizers say, “Try ‘em raw, scalded and grilled, on bread, on the half shell, fried, in savoury sauces, in salads, on pizza and even desserts.”

Here is a taste of what’s on the agenda, but go to the official website www.oooysterfestival.com for the complete event listings.  B.C. Food and Wine Trails Magazine is also a proud sponsor of this event and I will be there as well with my cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker – An Okanagan Cookbook, on hand.

The festivities begin on Wednesday, with an oyster-themed long table dinner at Miradoro, and continue on Thursday with a Bubble, Oyster and Northern Divine Caviar Tasting followed by a pizza dinner at Terrafina Restaurant. On Friday, wine will take a backseat for a beer-and-oyster-pairing event.  On Saturday, the Sage Pub hosts the second Amateur Shuck n’ Suck competition sponsored by Osoyoos’ Helen’s Seafood Cove market.

The festival will also be hosting Canada’s first Oyster Wine Competition (sponsored by Codfathers Seafood Market and Walnut Beach Resort) where judges will pair each wine submission with Marina’s Top Drawer Oysters from Outlandish Shellfish grown near Cortes Island. These frilly bivalves are sweet with a hint of cucumber.

The judges are: Rhys Pender, master of wine and owner of www.wineplus.ca; Mark Filatow, sommelier and chef  at www.waterfrontrestaurant.ca and Canadian Culinary Championships British Columbia winner and finale competitor; Audrey Surrao, WSET certified and co-owner at www.raudz.com; Cassandra Anderton, food and wine writer and publisher of www.goodlifevancouver.com: and Brad Cooper, Okanagan winemaker and owner of Black Cloud Winery

The signature food and wine event, Art of the Oyster, takes place on Saturday afternoon at the oyster festival’s official hotel and sponsor, Walnut Beach Resort.

I absolutely loved this event last year — the food, the setting, the creativity of the chefs — all were amazing. Along with wine tastings from participating Oliver/Osoyoos wineries, you’ll see the oyster-themed culinary creations of the Sonora Room at Burrowing Owl Winery, Terrafina at Hester Creek Winery, Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek Winery, Walnut Beach Resort, Mica at Spirit Ridge, Watermark Resort, Nk’Mip Cellars Restaurant and Chef Chris Van Hooydonk and his new company, Artisan Culinary Concepts.

Freshly shucked oysters will be provided from Codfathers, Effingham, Outlandish, Brent Petkau ‘The Oysterman’ and Penticton’s Buy the Sea Market.  For the daring diner, Covert Farms in Oliver will be offering up Prairie Oysters to taste (yep, them’s sheep’s testicles). Time: 3–5 p.m. Tickets cost $35 inclusive and are available by calling 1-877-936-5400.

Walnut Beach Resort, also a sponsor of the festival, will be offering great room rates starting at $79 so you can get “EFF’d” (Effingham Oyster’s slogan — he will have T-shirts for sale) and not have to drive home.




Jennifer Schell is the editor of B.C. Food and Wine Trails Magazine.



Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Most Read